Yesterday, Ferrari released its contender for the 2020 Formula One championship, the SF1000. At first glance, you might be wondering if Ferrari just wheeled out its 2019 car to a whole bunch of fanfare, but there are, in fact, plenty of little tech changes along the way that could promise good things for the team this year.
This little tech rundown comes to you courtesy of Craig Scarborough via Peter Windsor. Scarborough is an absolute master when it comes to dissecting the purpose of every little bit and bob on a race car, which is what makes this video so exciting. Ten minutes in and you won’t understand how you thought this car was similar to 2019's:
Maybe the most obvious change is the rake, or the change in altitude from one end of the car to another. Basically, the SF1000 has a high positive rake, which means that the rear of the car is higher than the front. This serves to increase downforce by expanding the airflow underneath the car, which will reduce pressure and suck it down to the racing surface. That’s going to be crucial for Ferrari, who had the speed on straights but struggled through corners.
The overall shape of the car has gone more Red Bull Racing-like, Scarborough notes, with its high inlets now lowered and made more droopy. You can see a lot of the changes are inspired by things that teams were doing last year. Ferrari is likely hoping that it’ll be able to smoosh all the good parts of all teams together to make something much quicker and more efficient than its 2019 machine.
Now, I’m no engineer, so I’ll leave the explanations to Scarborough. You can also find some further descriptions on his Twitter page, along with analyses of every other F1 car as they slowly trickle out of the woodwork.
Basically, the changes to the Ferrari aren’t particularly pronounced, but they are numerous—and it’s often the tiny changes that make the most difference in a sport like F1. Ferrari has done an impressive job making changes—but it’s all going to come down to the equipment that teams like Mercedes and Red Bull bring to the track. But for right now, we can expect a quicker, tighter performance from Ferrari.